I have come to a stopping point with the technical manual for our ILS migration. Because we have selected Evergreen to be our new system, and because Evergreen is open source we need to create all our own technical support. That included an operating manual. I have never written a technical manual before and it has been a really valuable experience. It was, for lack of a better word, intense. First you must KNOW the software really well to be able to write a manual for it. Second it gave me much great appreciate for what really goes into any kind of technical support. If you have never had the opportunity to write a manual before I really suggest you give it a go. It will certainly open your eyes to what is involved in technical support, training and other such matters. It’s kinda like that informational speech everyone had to do in high school on speed. All kinds of fun. 🙂
I should point out that the manual isn’t completely finished yet either. It’s just that the program is so huge and robust that we needed to put some basic parameters in place then do a run before we polish it off. Our schools don’t have MLS’s in all the campus libraries so a lot of discussion has gone into who will have access to do what processes within the system. Especially since we will all be sharing a database. We aren’t sure the best idea would be to allow an English faculty member access to create an original MARC record within the catalog. Some of those access questions we still haven’t quite figured out yet and so it didn’t make much sense to write about process that 98% of our library coordinators wouldn’t have access to anyway. The plan to date is to run a test migration of our records, set up two libraries (myself and one of our small library in GA) to test out the software and ID any bugs in it AND the current manual. Then I’ll go back in finish the manual then we’ll push the system out to all our campuses.
Note to self, if I ever do this again I would include more people in the initial planning stages so that the role out could have happened faster. It seems that there were more discussion points then were anticipated and we can’t push anything out until we have clear policies and procedures for everyone. Has anyone had any similar experiences?? Be sure to share the post with anyone you think would find it interesting and thanks for reading!